Dance in the Community

Dance & Parkinson’s Movement Classes

The Mason Gross Dance Department continues to partner with the New Jersey Parkinson’s Disease Information and Referral Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital to present a series of movement classes for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Spearheaded by Mason Gross Dance Department faculty member Jeff Friedman, the program is supported by a Community Grant from the Parkinson’s foundation and funds from the Kenneth Aidekman Family Foundation. Fall and spring sessions include 20 classes that take place on Saturdays at the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center on the Douglass Campus. Instructors guide participants through a series of gentle stretches, posture supports, and joint articulations, as well as balance, stability, and locomotion activities that are meant to be both challenging and fun. An annual schedule of classes is planned each academic year, beginning in the fall.

Under the supervision of director Thomas Lennon, students at the Mason Gross School of the Arts Documentary Film Lab created a film that explores the program and its participants. This film has been accepted for presentation into three national film festivals: the 2020 Utah Dance Film Festival, the 2020 Dance Camera West Film Festival (Los Angeles), and the 2020 Dance on Film Festival in Austin, Texas. If you have any questions about the series in person or virtually, please email Natalie Schultz-Kahwaty, Director of Rutgers Dance & Parkinson’s.

Fall Series

Certified Parkinson’s movement instructors will be teaching In-Person and Virtual Classes from 11 a.m.–12 p.m. For access to our virtual class, please contact Natalie Schultz-Kahwaty

With Natalie Schultz-Kahwaty

  • September 11, 18, 25
  • October 2, 16, 23, 30
  • November 6

With Fania Tsakalakos

  • October 9
  • November 13

Note: Masks are required to be worn indoors on all Rutgers University property. For participants coming to our in-person classes, please come in wearing a mask, which must be worn the entire duration of the class. Windows will be open for a cross breeze. For more information on COVID-19 protocols, please visit

Somatic Teacher Training

Mason Gross Dance offers two distinct somatic teacher training programsin Pilates and yogawhich allow dance majors to enhance their career employment options through specialized content knowledge and skills.

Polestar Pilates

Polestar Pilates is an industry leader in research-based Pilates practice. In the training, participants learn how to embody, plan, and teach beginner, intermediate, and advanced Pilates sessions to meet the varied needs of fitness clients in private, semi-private, and group fitness settings. Topics include client fitness screenings; Polestar principles of movement (an online course taught by Polestar founder Dr. Brent Anderson); Polestar lesson design and sequencing; movement cueing (verbal, imagery, tactile); and movement precautions and their modifications for special populations.

For more information, visit Polestar Pilates or contact Frederick Curry.

RYS Lila Flow Yoga Teacher Training

Students participate in an immersive 200-hour training program designed to produce knowledgeable, inspired, and compassionate yoga teachers. The program provides students with a strong foundation in anatomy and embodied alignment, the tools to find their unique voice and individuality, and room for creative exploration and self-discovery. Built into the training is the opportunity to study with various guest teachers with expertise in yoga tune-up, harmonium, and Acro Yoga with Thai massage.

I completed the Lila Flow Yoga Teacher Training this past summer. It was the best thing I could’ve done for my physical and mental health during such uncertain times. The training gave me another type of physical and spiritual education that has allowed me to grow as a person and artist. I have practiced yoga since I was 10 years old, but this training has gave me a much needed and deeper understanding of what yoga is about. I’ll be forever grateful for this experience!” – Leah Hansen, Mason Gross School of the Arts (2020) and Lila Flow Graduate